As conservatives, we are trying to conserve that which is right, just, true, and noble about and for the human condition. Both for this and future generations.
Many of those things have their basis and/or inspiration in the Bible, which is evident in so many of our founding documents, traditions, and way of life. This is why I have no problem as a believer swearing an oath to uphold and defend the actual wording of the U.S. Constitution, because it was devised with my worldview in mind.
Unfortunately, in an election featuring two systemically flawed, damaged, and unrepentant people running for the highest office in all the land, there is a tendency — even among those who have proven before their virtue and worth — to try and rationalize choosing one of them to vote for. And this is done usually at the expense of what we’re supposed to be conserving.
For example, some Christian leaders — and these are real leaders, not fake ones for hire on the political hack payroll — are attempting to justify Donald Trump’s lifetime of debauchery and malfeasance. Like in the following tweet from James Hohmann, who is a national political reporter for the Washington Post:
Franklin Graham defended Trump’s character. Nobody is perfect, he said: Abraham lied, Moses disobeyed God + David committed adultery/murder.
— James Hohmann (@jameshohmann) June 22, 2016
I have an immense amount of respect for Franklin Graham, and his family’s legacy. Barely a day goes by that I don’t find something he says profound enough to re-tweet to my own followers. My home church is an affiliate of his Christmas Box charity program for children around the world. I acknowledge that in the Christian/media hierarchy he’s in the gated community and I live in the suburbs.
That being said, “God is not a respecter of persons.” So neither should we be. The truth here is I believe, with all due respect, that Franklin Graham is not rightly dividing the Word of God here. And in the interests of conservatism, we cannot allow a generation of Americans who already have no idea what their historical legacy is to be further led into moral pea soup. Where there is no clarity, only subjective opinions. Which is exactly how the progressives want it.
But if there’s anything the Bible provides it is clarity.
See, the Bible clarifies we live for God’s glory. Not Him for ours. That yes, as Franklin Graham points out all of the Bible’s significant figures other than Christ were flawed vessels. That’s because all of us other than Christ are flawed vessels.
This is why Christ came to Earth. He came to bridge the gap between our flaws and God’s holy perfection. He came to be our perfect vessel of atonement, resurrection, and redemption. That when we couldn’t get up to heaven, heaven came down to us.
However, we are not to look at the flawed vessels God still used to accomplish His plan and seek to emulate them. As if to say, “I’ll just go on being an unrepentant degenerate and God will bless me for it because He needs me.”
That is willful rebellion, not humble contrition.
Instead, we are to see these people and then realize that we, too, can be redeemed and used by God for mighty things if we seek Him and His ways. Not ours. That we are to look at them and see ourselves, yes, but not pridefully. Rather we are to see ourselves and not boast but be convicted that “all of have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” That’s why we all need a Savior.
Jacob, one of the great patriarchs of the faith, has a name that literally means “schemer” and that’s what he was. But nobody goes to the Church of Jacob today. We go to the Church of God, who still chose to use Jacob the Schemer for His glory. Not to mention, when the significant figures of the Bible committed these sins both they and those around them paid a terrible cost for it.
- Yes, Abraham defied God by sleeping with his servant out of wedlock to conceive a child. That child would go on to become Ishmael, which tradition teaches is the rival patriarch of Islam. As in the source of rivalry, warfare, and bloodshed with the Jews — who are descended from Abraham’s other son, Isaac — for centuries to the present day.
- Yes, even Moses defied God as the leader of the Jewish people. He was banned from ever stepping foot in the Promised Land as a result.
- Yes, David was an adulterer several times over. And it nearly cost him his crown, plunging his entire kingdom into civil war.
- Yes, Paul was once a persecutor named Saul. But he suffered temporary blindness, and then lived a ministry where he himself was constantly persecuted or under the threat of it after his conversion. As were those who accompanied him on his travels. As Saul, Paul encouraged the mob to kill the first martyr, Stephen, and then was martyred for his faith, too.
I could continue, but by now you get the picture. God is a God of justice, so if we choose to sin we choose to suffer the consequences. That even applies to those called directly into leadership by God, who are held to the same standard as everyone else and not given preferential treatment. Fortunately, God offers to spare us eternal condemnation for those sins if we earnestly seek and ask His forgiveness. That is the Gospel message in a nutshell:
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son. That whomsoever shall believe in him will not perish, but have eternal life. That God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but so that through him the world may be saved.
Therefore, the primary role of Christian leaders, according to the Bible, is to lead unrepentant sinners like Donald Trump (who openly admits he’s never asked God for forgiveness) to the Cross. Not the White House. For what good does it do a man to gain the whole world, but lose his eternal soul in the process? Did Jesus die for Trump to be president, or for Trump to be forgiven? Shouldn’t we, then, as his followers emphasize that which he gave his life for?
If we have come to a point as a culture that we’re no longer going to urge unrepentant sinners to be forgiven, as Franklin’s father Billy preached to the world over for decades, but instead cast our pearls unto swine by wish-casting them into powerful political offices, then the church is in no position to conserve American Exceptionalism for future generations.
For the church herself is responsible for losing it.
“Consider how far you have fallen. Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lamp stand from its place.”
Jesus Christ, Revelation 2:5